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Why Matt Lauer’s ‘Commander in Chief’ Interviews Were an Unmitigated Disaster

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Were Interviewed by Matt Lauer. It Didn’t Go Well. For Democracy.

Wednesday night NBC’s Matt Lauer held “Commander in Chief” pre-debate interviews in the USS Intrepid, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the first almost-debate of the 2016 general election. It didn’t go well. 

Why NBC News chief Andrew Lack decided Matt Lauer would be the perfect moderator is anyone’s guess. Rachel Maddow, whose MSNBC show is the new network’s crown jewel, and who literally wrote the book on the evening’s topic, was literally on deck to mop up at 9 PM after Lauer nearly sunk the ship.

In a nutshell, Lauer put the screws to Clinton, almost berating her over her emails, which have nothing to do with the event’s topic, while he effectively pour Trump a beer and sat back watching football. The systemic sexism was mind-boggling. 

Almost immediately, journalists (yours truly included) took to social media with jaws hanging open, shocked at the journalistic malpractice NBC News (remember NBC’s CNBC GOP debate that was also an unmitigated disaster?) has foisted upon the American democracy.

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait penned a widely-circulated article titled, “Matt Lauer’s Pathetic Interview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Is the Scariest Thing I’ve Seen in This Campaign.”

It begins, “I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major party candidates. Lauer’s performance was not merely a failure, it was horrifying and shocking.”

Chait sums up the consequences, noting that, as it turns out, the average voter, especially those who are still undecided, “subsist on a news diet supplied by the likes of Matt Lauer. And the reality transmitted to them from Lauer matches the reality of the polls, which is a world in which Clinton and Trump are equivalently flawed.”

In other words, Lauer has perpetrated the myth that either candidate is equally acceptable.

Veteran journalist and Huffington Post editor-at-large Michelangelo Signorile offered this insight hours after the event:

The New York Times (which has little right to criticize others after its extremely offensive anti-Clinton slanted coverage,) reports,” Mr. Lauer found himself besieged on Wednesday evening by critics of all political stripes, who accused the anchor of unfairness, sloppiness and even sexism in his handling of the event.”

Thursday morning, Signorile followed up, rightly telling the Times that what happened Wednesday was their fault in part, after their anti-Clinton coverage:

Raw Story rightly points to CNN senior media and politics reporter Dylan Byers’ analysis, saying Byers “crushed” Lauer:

“Political interviews, forums, town halls, debates, these are really big, significant deals,” Dylan Byers said on CNN (video below). “They’re especially big, significant deals given all that’s at stake in the 2016 election. You don’t send Matt Lauer to do a political reporter’s job. Look, in a debate, it might be fair to argue that you can let the two candidates fact-check each other. But when it comes to these one-on-one interviews, these forums, you have to step up and play that role. That onus is on you, and Matt Lauer didn’t do that. He certainly didn’t do that with Donald Trump. He didn’t do it on the Iraq War. He didn’t do it on a number of other issues and frankly, this criticism that he went a lot harder on Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, I think, is well founded.”

Rob Reiner also weighed in:

Others:

 

 

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Dismisses ‘Real Small, Minor Number’ of Rapes Requiring Abortions

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declined to say on Sunday if he would sign a bill removing abortion exceptions for rape because they only represent a “real small, minor number” of cases.

During an interview on Fox News, host Mike Emmanuel asked Reeves if he would remove the abortion exceptions for rape in Mississippi.

Reeves sidestepped the question by insisting that the bill would never make it through the legislature.

“There’s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places mainly by the Democrats, to try to talk only about the real small, minor number of exceptions that may exist,” he complained. “Over 90% of all abortions that are done in America, some 63 million babies aborted since Roe was wrongly decided in 1973, over 90% of those are elective abortions.”

Reeves argued that the “far-left” should not be talking about “all these exceptions and minor numbers.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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Trump Hinted Jan. 6 Would Be His ‘Last-Ditch’ Attempt to Overturn the Election Results: Filmmaker Alex Holder

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In an interview with the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell, a British documentary maker who was filming behind-the-scenes footage in Donald Trump’s White House on Jan 6th claimed he knew something bad was about to happen before supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

Alex Holder, whose film crew was on hand and filming Trump and his children Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka on Jan 6th, stated there was a feeling among his people that something momentous was about to happen.

According to Lowell, “Holder was there for it all: three sit-down interviews with Trump, including one at the White House, numerous other interviews with Trump’s adult children, private conversations among top aides and advisers before the election, and around the Capitol itself as it got stormed.” adding, “The access to Trump, and listening to him and his inner circle, led him to suspect that the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election would somehow culminate in some event at the Capitol on 6 January.”

Asked about what his feeling was prior to the riot that engulfed the Capitol building, Holder explained, “I wasn’t 100% sure, but it was sort of a feeling, so we prepared for that thing to happen. The reason we thought January 6 was because, in Trump’s mind, the last-ditch effort was to stop the process” of the vote certification by Congress.

RELATED: Man behind J6 documentary needs ‘two armed guards’ due to Trump supporters’ threats: BBC

He elaborated, “That ceremonial process that takes place in Congress on January 6, he felt, was the last time where he could, in his mind, stop the election going to the wrong person, as it were. The rhetoric that was coming out was that the election was rigged, [that] we need to fight.”

According to the Guardian report, Holder has, “testified for about four hours behind closed doors last week about his roughly 100 hours of footage, used for an upcoming documentary titled Unprecedented, and turned over to House investigators the parts demanded in a subpoena compelling his cooperation.”

Lowell added, “Holder said he additionally did a one-to-one interview with then-vice president Mike Pence, including a scene where Pence briefly reviews an email about the 25th amendment – which concerns the removal of a US president – which was privately discussed among senior White House officials in the wake of the Capitol attack.”

You can read more here.

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Meadows Allegedly Behind Possible Attempt at Witness Intimidation of Cassidy Hutchinson: Reports

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Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide and advisor to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, may be the victim of attempted witness intimidation, and the person who may have attempted to intimidate her may be her former boss.

The Guardian on Friday reports “Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.”

That message, according to both CNN and The Guardian, was delivered at the direction of Mark Meadows, according to sources both news outlets cite.

READ MORE: Secret Service Agents Confirm Details Hutchinson Shared About Trump Demanding to Be Taken to US Capitol Jan. 6

One of the messages that the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack posted at the end of Hutchinson’s testimony read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

According to The Guardian, “The redaction was ‘Meadows,’ the sources said.”

READ MORE: Trump Declares Hutchinson ‘Totally Discredited’ as Former Aide Says Someone in His Orbit Tried to Influence Her Testimony

CNN similarly reports: “One of [the] people who may have been trying to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony did so at the behest of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources familiar with information gathered by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.”

Citing multiple sources CNN reports “the ‘person’ referred to in the message, which was redacted in the version projected on a screen during the hearing, was Meadows.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi Friday afternoon on MSNBC said there is “no question” that message constitutes “an attempt to intimidate a witness. No question about it,” he stressed.

“When you then add that to the fact that it appears that they provided, her initial attorney to her, Cassidy Hutchinson, you now have a without a doubt, predication to open a federal witness tampering investigation,” Figliuzzi added.

Thursday on Twitter Figliuzzi wrote: “This is witness tampering. Cassidy Hutchinson was the target. They picked the wrong young woman.”

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